|VIZO Master Panel II Expansion Interface|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Accessories|
|Written by Ronald Tibbetts|
|Wednesday, 07 November 2007|
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Testing & Results
To test if I really needed to "go to the back or not", I wanted to see if using the Master Panel II had any effect on performance regarding the ports I use most often; eSATA and USB 2.0. I also heavily make use of my digital camera and wondered if bypassing its docking station I could cut the time it takes to transfer images to my PC.
Concerning the tests, I used Simply Software's HD Tach v18.104.22.168 Quick Bench (8MB zones). HD Tach is a low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices such as hard drives, removable drives (ZIP/JAZZ), flash devices, and RAID arrays. HD Tach uses custom device drivers and other low level Windows interfaces to bypass as many layers of software as possible and get as close to the physical performance of the device possible.
For the eSATA and USB 2.0 I used my Vantec external HDD enclosure that supports eSATA and USB 2.0 transfers. The drive I chose for the tests was a single Western Digital Raptor 74GB 16MB Cache 10k RPM.
For the Compact Flash (CF) reader I used a SanDisc 2GB CF Card, doing a direct comparison with my HP Photosmart R967 Digital Camera on its docking station, setting the camera to appear as a disc drive under Windows. Both the Card Reader and HP docking station connect via USB 2.0.
Master Panel II Results
Since the eSATA is no more than a pass-through from the motherboard, there should be no difference with either port. The minor differences that were noted are likely due to normal variances in the test.
Here the Master Panel really shines, besting the Average transfer rate of the HP camera by almost 83%, and Random Access by more then 18.3%. With ~3MB average image size, that's no small drop in the bucket, and will cut image uploading time drastically.
Also being a straight pass-through the USB 2.0 test shows there is no difference compared to the on-board ports.
Giving you all the functionality of your on-board ports while being easily accessible is the aim of the Master Panel II. And it does just that with no tricks, just a simple design that uses a pass-through method to bring needed ports up front. I was quite surprised with the CF card results, and pleased with a way to get images to my PC faster.